As the media compared Saturday's launch of the Palm Pre to the 2007 debut of the iPhone, fans bought enough of the new handset to sell out many stores -- largely because distributor Sprint Nextel kept inventories modest, according to press reports. Some Best Buy stores carried as few as three Pre devices, and Sprint said it was working to restock retailers. One research firm predicts Palm will sell more than 1 million Pre devices this year.
The mobile app boom has attracted the interest of larger companies, such as Amazon.com and Barry Diller's IAC/InteractiveCorp, seeking to expand their content arms by purchasing application developers. Most of the tire-kicking involves the iPhone because of its market dominance, and analysts expect the buying frenzy to increase after Apple releases its iPhone 3.0 software upgrade this week.
Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said last week that the carrier's exclusive window on the Palm Pre extended beyond six months, the length quoted by rivals and in most press reports. Sprint also said it would enter three more 4G markets this year with its own WiMAX network.
Motorola is considering selling all or much of its wireless-infrastructure business and perhaps its set-top-box division, according to an Oppenheimer analyst who said in a research note that the company was "in advanced discussions" with Huawei to buy the wireless unit. The analyst said that would leave Motorola to concentrate on its government and enterprise markets.
Intel hinted last week that the Android operating system could work alongside the chip maker's Moblin software in netbooks: For the first time publicly, an executive showed a layer of Android running on top of Moblin. Intel has made a heavy bet on netbooks, but last week a published report asserted the company's global sales estimates for mobile Internet devices were inflated.